Monday, February 25, 2008

Indian Food

My friend Lisa loves to cook so we have decided to do an international meal once a month with our families. Last month we had a scrumptious French dinner and last Saturday we had a delicious meal of Indian cuisine. I had never had Indian food before so did not know what to expect as Lisa was supplying the recipes and we both bought the ingredients and cooked. And it was wonderful. Our dear friend Tammy and her girls also joined us. For those of you who are interested, our menu consisted of a Samosa starter followed by Beef Curry, Butter Chicken, Jasmine Rice, Aloo Mutter and all eaten with Non. Yummy. I think the Butter Chicken was my favorite. Anyway, I had planned on taking pictures of the food and doing a drawing based on that but everyone was hungry and the food disappeared too quickly to photograph. So I thought I would sketch these boats on an Indian river to keep with the theme. the sketch was done with Derwent WC Pencils and highlighted with black ink.
Next month we are having Swedish food. Not sure what that will entail but if you have any ideas, please share!
Thanks Lisa and family! This sure is a lot of fun!

Friday, February 22, 2008

WIP - Star Fish

I've been working with my watercolor pencils all week, trying to get a feel for them. I'm not quite there yet so tonight I decided to work on something else. This is a star fish we saw in some tide pools in Fort Bragg, CA, last August. It is a WIP (Work In Progress) which I hope to finish over the weekend. So many details to add yet. But I am pleased so far. Please let me know what you think and thank you for visiting!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I think I Can, I think I Can

Well, here is another attempt at using my WC Pencils for my class with artist Cathy Johnson. I started out using Derwent WC Pencils but had heaps of trouble getting the colors deep enough and the values, well, they just did not want to cooperate at all. So, feeling that the painting was lost, I dug out my new Lyra Aquacolor crayons and started laying them in. They are a lot creamier then the pencils and were able to cover the paper much easier.

I like the bottom of the picture but the top didn't turn out as I hoped. But with practice, I will improve. I know I can, I know I can, I know I can.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

For Pat & Gary

Recently my brother and his lovely wife celebrated their 20th anniversary in Aruba. (Happy belated anniversary guys! I love you.) While looking for subjects for my watercolor pencil class, I ran across a photo of this Divi Divi tree and thought of them. I hope you like it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Brush with Water

Keeping with my watercolor pencil theme, I tried a new technique today. I used a General's Sketch & Wash pencil to do this torso study and then used a brush and water for the washes, just like a watercolor pencil. I went back in with a wet tip on the pencil for some darker highlights. I like this technique and it is a challenge for me because I feel as if I have a bit more control over the regular charcoal and pencil. As this is all new to me, I will continue trying the various techniques depending on my mood for the day. Hope you enjoyed the drawing and that you might spend a few moments doing something that brings you happiness as well.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ocean Blues

I feel most alive at the ocean. . . which is kinda sad since I live near the top of the Sacramento valley - hours away from the ocean. But still, we try to get there as often as we can.

My crazy cousin Mona gave me this shell many years ago. Here mother, who died just a few months before I met my husband, had this and another shell that she felt were very special. Knowing how much I enjoy the ocean and all things related, Mona, with the blessing of her father, generously gave me these shells, which I treasure.

Of course, they aren't really blue. I need to become much bolder with my colors so I endeavored to just use color and not worry about the actual shades. I think I am happy with it. It is 4 x 6 and is painted with watercolor pencils. I added more pencil strokes back in to show the texture of the shell. Your comments and suggestions are most welcome.

Joan made my day!

Joan (Drawing on Nature) gave me an award yesterday - the YOU MAKE MY DAY AWARD. She said "she challenges herself creatively every day. I wanna be like her." Coming from Joan, that is a HUGE compliment. Thanks so much Joan. You have really made my day!

I'm new to this award thing but I imagine that I am now to hand out the award to those deserving! But how to narrow this down? My first thought would be Joan . . . but I probably can't give it right back. But her art work is absolutely stunning. If you haven't visited her site, you really should.
So the next person who comes to mind is Brenda who recently started a new blog called Menus from my heART as a way to combine her love of cooking and her art. Some tasty recipes and lovely paintings.
Another blog I love to visit is Robyn's Have Dogs, Will Travel where she shares details of her life in Italy (after moving from Australia) with her Hubby, dogs and her art work. Her stories are entertaining and her paintings lovely. And her photos of Italy are inspiring too.
I read Art Blog By Bob nearly everyday and truly enjoy his art history lessons. He has a wealth of information to share with us all.
Nel (Nel's Everyday Painting) also inspires me each day. Nel produces a painting each and everyday and is able to take the simplest things and makes the most lovely paintings (like her lovely garlic pictures).
And Felicity's gorgeous drawings on Sketches by Fiz are stunning! I am quite envious of her skills.
There really are so many others who are inspiring me on my daily art journey and I would like to thank them all for their encouragement, even if they were not mentioned above.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

That Figures

I've been working again on my figure drawings. The Yahoo Group Classical Figure Drawing is now working on torsos. I wanted to work larger and freer then on my earlier drawings so used a larger sketchbook and charcoal, instead of pencil. Also refused to use an eraser except for a little clean up after I had finished. I am pretty happy with these. They really pushed me out of my safe comfort zone. In fact, it amazes me how much I am enjoying these studies now.

The study above and below here were drawn using pictures in the book Artistic Anatomy by Paul Richer.

The drawing above is after Michelangelo, a true master. Mine is not so masterful but it is inspiring to see work such as his and to learn from it.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Post Card Pals

British artist Anita Davies proposed her Post Card Pals project , and since I love her work so much, I immediately signed up. First I had to send her a post card. I thought maybe I should paint something that said Red Bluff, so I did a rodeo rider. RB is known throughout the US for its annual rodeo. Anyway, this is what I sent Anita:

This was my first attempt EVER of drawing a horse, much less painting one. However, I think it turned out fairly well. Not happy with the lettering though. Not well thought out.

Anita then sent me the lovely card below. See, she's good, huh. Thanks so much Anita!

So I will make a deal with any artist out there. If you would like to exchange post cards with me, let me know. I will gladly send a hand drawn or painting to anyone who sends me one. Let the fun begin!

Watercolor Pencils

I am experimenting with watercolor pencils. I've never felt successful with them in the past and am now enrolled in a class given by artist Cathy Johnson to overcome this hesitation to use them. The above sketch is of a castle ruin in England, though I forget which one. There was a great deal of green moss covering the stones so I went with the strong green color. Am trying to be bolder with my color as well.

Here I added water in select places. I should use more water to blend better but the paper isn't strong enough to hold more water. Next sketches will be on regular watercolor paper instead of my sketchbook. Plus, the rough watercolor paper would have been better for the texture of the building as well. But it is a start. Stay tuned over the next six weeks to see if I am able to improve!